U.S. Customs officers seize counterfeit 15,000 toasters

April 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM
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LONG BEACH, Calif., April 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs officials in Southern California said they confiscated nearly 15,000 imported toasters in March that had counterfeit UL approval markings.

The familiar UL mark signifies a product has been tested by Underwriters Laboratories, a company in Illinois that puts products, including appliances, through a battery of tests to see if they are safe. A toaster would be tested for the possibility of electric shock, for example.

Customs officials at the port of Long Beach said they had seized 14,904 toasters coming in from China in March with counterfeit UL labels, CBS Los Angeles reported Friday.

The retail value of the seized shipments, if sold at suggested prices, is $297,931. The wholesale value is $72,597, officials said.

"This is yet another example of CBP officers' vigilance in preventing potentially dangerous counterfeit appliances from reaching American consumers," said Todd Owen, U.S. Customs and Border Protection field operations director in Los Angeles.

"CBP takes an aggressive stand against counterfeiters attempting to introduce unsafe products that disregard quality, safety and the law," Owen said.

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